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Israeli COs

In December and January, two Israeli Jewish teenagers won exemption from military service in the Israeli army after serving over 100 days in prison each for their conscientious objection.

On 28 December, following seven periods of imprisonment, Hillel Garmi, 19, was granted exemption from service by the army’s ‘conscience committee’.

Garmi, who served 107 days in prison in total, was one of the initiators of the ‘High School Students’ Letter against Occupation’ in December 2017.

Upon his release Garmi said: ‘The five months I have spent in prison have been dedicated to the struggle against occupation and siege, to the five million Palestinians who effectively live under the rule of the Israeli government but do not have the chance to elect it.’

Fellow conscientious objector Adam Rafaelov, 18, completed his eighth prison term on 22 January (he served 104 days in total) and was granted exemption the same day.

Rafaelov became a political activist after meeting Garmi in military prison.